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Ingredient of the week: Oysters

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12 FEBRUARY 2009

These shellfish divide us. There are those who can't live without their salty, mineral-rich tang, and others who find the experience reminiscent of swallowing gritty sea water. If you fall into the former category spring – especially around Valentine's Day - is the time of year to try them, as they're rich in zinc, which reputedly acts as a libido booster. Try them raw à la Jamie Oliver with ginger, chilli and red wine vinegar or cooked in any number of ways – tradition dictates their use in beef and oyster pie, but ancient man was eating them au naturel 6000 years ago.